back to article What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'? When do we send in the tanks?

The United States needs to define a new set of international rules that decides what the cyber equivalent of a missile attack is. So says Avril Haines, former deputy head of the CIA and deputy national security advisor to the Obama Administration. Speaking at the Cloudflare Internet Summit in San Francisco Thursday, Haines …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'

    That has a very simple answer. De-peer the country - mandate all ISPs to filter out any route announcements from it.

    By the way, Russians with their new critical infrastructure legislation can do that. Their new laws deem peering points critical infrastructure in addition to all transit SPs. The state can order them to filter out a particular autonomous system or network range.

    We should simply do the same. It is the Internet equivalent of calling in the tanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'

      Just redirect all dns records from said country to point to cat videos.

      No point punishing the people for their regimes behaviour.

    2. sitta_europea Silver badge

      Re: What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'

      "What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force' "

      "That has a very simple answer. De-peer the country ... The state can order them to filter out a particular autonomous system or network range."

      Oh. But I already do that. OVH and Thailand in the last half hour for example. So am I an aggressor?

  2. frobnicate
    WTF?

    "The United States needs to define a new set of international rules"

    Just read this sentence slowly and carefully. No reason to read any further, it only gets worse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The United States needs to define a new set of international rules"

      You beat me to it1

      Just who does the US think they are that they can dictate to the rest of the world?

    2. Youngone

      Re: "The United States needs to define a new set of international rules"

      The part that caught my eye was: "The United States is more vulnerable than any other country in the world to a cyberattack, warns Haines, because so much of it is dependent on the internet".

      Really? I thought, not like those Germans living in their caves, and those Koreans who barely have the use of fire (I could go on, but I think I've made my point).

      No we Americans rely on the Internet so much more than them, but goodness we're so frightened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The United States needs to define a new set of international rules"

        Really? I thought, not like those Germans living in their caves, and those Koreans

        My exact thought - it has been nearly 10 years (if not more) since all government services in the Baltic states and Scandinavia have been accessible over the Internet. In some places you can even vote over the net. Ditto for banking, utilities, etc. Korea is not far off. Even the rest of Eastern Europe (the part without a Scandinavian Sugar Daddy) is ahead of USA as far as real use of the net for non-Cat Video content is concerned.

        The only area I can think of where USA was ahead of everyone else is electronic tax filing. It does, however, make up for it by the fact that you cannot file via an open public interface and have to use an authorized middleman.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New excuses

    to start wars and invade countries.

    The beauty of this, however, is that "evidence" is much easier to manufacture and you don't have irritating people asking where the chemical weapons are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New excuses

      Do they need excuses?

      If country has resource you want then

      help out being really nice

      else

      do fuck all

      end

  4. DCFusor
    Unhappy

    Poor, poor IC

    Having their budget (black and white both) cut on every attack, the pressure must be enormous.

    Oh, wait...

  5. sitta_europea Silver badge

    Wasn't the original idea of that DARPANET thing to make things MORE secure?

    1. BeakUpBottom
      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        It was sort of "can we get these computers to communicate data between each other" in a lab.

        You know those sort of projects that you do as a proof of concept expecting it to get properly developed and tidied up before release, and your bosses then just deploy it to live production?

        That's the internet.

  6. ZPO

    By the standard Haines suggests, STUXNET would almost qualify for a "send in the tanks" response.

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Internet dependence?

    The United States is more vulnerable than any other country in the world to a cyberattack, warns Haines, because so much of it is dependent on the internet.

    An awful lot of countries have infrastructure that depends on Internet availability, and arguably the smaller ones can be more vulnerable, as they are more likely to have limited connectivity and a larger proportion of single points of failure. Impossible(?) to kill all the interwebs in USA, easier in Uruguay etc.

  8. EnviableOne Silver badge

    Geneva convention of the internet

    USA used to be in a position to dictate internet policy, until they handed the IANA contract over to ICANN

    sounds like a job for the UN

  9. James 36

    I thought this was particularly amusing

    "Part of the problem is that no one – particularly the sophisticated United States – wants to agree that something represents an attack when they could also be accused of the same thing.

    "If we say something is 'use of force,' it can be used against us," Haines says. "We need a framework where we can go to other countries and say 'this is a problem, you should join us'.""

    So it is ok for the good ole USofA cos they are the good guys ?

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Wake up, Smell the Coffee a Cocoa

    What kind of an idiot thinks the deployment and targeting of conventional exploding weapons against what exactly is any sort of an effective deterrent and solution to resolve a virtual attack/cyber episode?

    Don't systems yet realise IT is a Moral High Ground Great Mind Game to be won for absolute command and control of ...." well, the prize is Universal Assets. ...... everything under the Sun and beyond.

    Being slow to that party has one feasting on scraps and crumbs.

  11. batfink Silver badge
    Mushroom

    What about proof?

    Missing in this whole argument is a standard of proof that "The <Russians/Norks/Yanks/Someone We Don't Like> dun it".

    We've seen quite a bit of this lately, with the solid-evidence-free finger-pointing at various nations for sundry attacks. When pressed for actual evidence, the reply is always "we're spooks and we reckon they dun it so shut up".

    So, agreeing what constitutes a "send in the tanks" moment has to be preceded by agreeing a standard of proof.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Q: Do you Want to Lead with the Future?

    You're listening to and sucking the life out of dead cat bounce sources, El Reg.

    Such is never going to lead anyone or anything anywhere vital and novel.

    Try harder, and do better.

    I trust that doesn't confuse anyone. I have been adjusting my letters to produce different words in a bid to greatly increase simple understanding of made complex issues to disguise titanic mass manipulation.

    And no dodging that tracer bullet of a question, El Reg. urCommentards would surely like to know whether you are made of the right stuff in these times of so much plenty being fake.

    And don't worry about not being able to deliver Futures, for everything needed will be freely provided.

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